Wistaria and Lattinwell Cottages

 

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Lord Willoughby de Broke's Itchington Estate map of 1769 shows that a John Smith owned various parts of the village. Smiths were prominent farmers at that time: Thomas rented Hill Farm in Itchington, his brother John rented and later bought Bishop's Farm in Tytherington, another brother farmed somewhere in Itchington while their sister Hannah married a Pullen at Tower Hill Farm. Very possibly this was the family that owned the two plots of land we are particularly concerned with: a V-shaped piece where Upper and Lower Lanes meet half-a-mile north of Itchington, and the adjacent field to the west, on the other side of Upper Lane (Tithe Award Nos 360 and 486).
The Smiths seem to have sold these fields about 1800, almost certainly to the Sansum family. In 1809 a house was built on the V- shaped plot; Lower Lane, then unimportant, ran between the house and its outbuildings. James Sansum had married Harriett Moxham in 1801 and probably built the house to accommodate their growing family, and perhaps also his widowed father William


Father William died in 1826 (aged 87), his son James soon after, in 1828, when he was 55. The Tithe Award Schedule of 1839 confirms that the house, garden and field were owned by his widow Harriett, who was living there with her daughter Eliza in 1841, according to the census. Her other seven children were either married or dead. In that year, Eliza married her cousin James Rakins and ten years later the new census shows Harriett, Eliza, James and their daughter Ann Archer occupying the house.
It was at this point, 1852 or 1853, that the house now known at Lattinwell Cottage was built. Eliza and James, with their daughter, moved in, while Harriett was joined by her son James Sansum, his wife Maria and their five youngest children, who had been living in a cottage up West Street in Tytherington. Harriett died in 1860, age 80, and James in 1874; but his widow and their son Charles continued to live in their original house. Charles married firstly Isabella, who died early, and then Alice Thorn by whom he had eight children. For fifty years, he was ploughman and carter for the Pearces at Lower Farm, Itchington. One of his sons, Arthur, continued to live in the house until he died of a heart attack in the quarry in 1937. This father-to-son occupancy by the Sansum family, unbroken in 128 years, is, I think, unmatched elsewhere in the Parish.                Wistaria Cottage pictured above
Post-war, the cottage was occupied by Herbert Barge and then for 15 years by Joseph Weekes, when it was named 'The Smallholding'. He was followed by Charles Charrington; the house was then extensively remodelled and renamed Wistaria Cottage.

Meanwhile, at Lattinwell, Eliza died in 1859, her daughter Ann married George Lyons (from Ramoaks) in 1862, her husband James remarried in 1863 to Elizabeth Pool and they had a daughter Emily Eliza; but James died in 1867, and the 1871 census shows George and Ann Lyons in occupation, with four young children and a nursemaid aged 11. George Lyons lived on in Lattinwell until he died in 1907. George Pearce told me in 1978 that `Monny Lyons', a bachelor, farmed a few acres at Lattinwell early in the century. Was this George Lyons's son George (1876-1924)? Subsequently, Thomas Tavender, who worked the quarry opposite Boyt's Farm in the '20s, lived at Lattinwell, then William Fry for many years, followed by David Wilson and currently Nigel Boosey.
 

Lattinwell Cottage pictured left.